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Eric Hites inspired by Proclaimers' '500 miles' hit song...

A 40-stone American has committed to riding 3,000 miles coast to coast across America, in a bid to lose some weight and win his wife back.

When Eric Hites heard the Proclaimers hit I’m Gonna Be (500 miles), he decided it was time to make a change, and he chose to cycle from coast to coast across the States to win back his wife Angie.

He said: “When I heard that song it hit me.. I wanted to save our marriage.

"So I called her up and said hey, I can’t walk 500 miles but I can probably ride it on my bicycle.”

He said: “My wife and I separated last July for many reasons, money, issues at home etc. both of us were pains in the rear. I was a slob, borderline hoarder that was so over weight and unhealthy, I could not hold or get a job. I tried but, It would just not happen.

“So instead of working to get healthy, I tried to start businesses at the cost of my parents and eventually my father in law.

“I got sicker, grew depressed, kept secrets about money and kept things from her. I tried, but not as hard as I should. I should have tried to get healthy but I didn't, I sat there and did nothing. I just let life slip by.

“I had issues, it was really hard to be my wife let me tell you. I tried to tell myself I was doing my best, but I wasn't.

“Well, I started what I said I would do, I left I went on my trip, two weeks in, she realized I had gone. She said, "you are really on the Vineyard? " I said  "yeah, I told you I had to change my life to change my future and build to prove that I really adore you."

“She said that was the most romantic thing anyone has ever done. So that day I had my Angie back, but, I still had to do the work I promised unlike time in and time out in the past.

“So our relationship grew again, we found each other, we found our love. She came to visit me and it was the best time of my life.

“As as she went back home after the visit I dreamed of the day I would reach my goal and be able to come back home to her and hold her again.”

He wrote on his website at the start of his trip: “As of right now, I'm 560 pounds. I will be blogging and video blogging the whole trip and interviewing people along the way.

He added: “By completing this ride, I hope to encourage others to get up and get moving no matter their weight.

“I have a lot to prove and a lot to make happen. I want to write this book to inspire others and inspire myself and show the love of my life, I still got it.

“There are a lot of naysayers out there and I am going to prove them wrong.”

The About Eric section of the website states that: “Over the years [Eric] has gained weight and let life get away from him. He has come to a time in his life he has to decide if he will make changes and improve his health, love, and life.

“He likes to do big things, and make his family proud. Most of all he wants to show the love of his life, that he will be around for the long haul, to be there when they are old, and to prove by actions instead of words in a big way that his love has no bounds. He has to show her and the world what he can do. 

This ride will launch the rest of his life in the direction needed to be successful and healthy. While he is at it he will share this trip with the world through video, journal entries, and images so that the world can follow along on his journey and share in his triumphs and failures until he completes the ride.

“When the ride is over he will compile a book about his experiences and the people he meets along the way. This will be his defining moment, and hopefully forgiveness and a new solid start on the life he longs for.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.